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Allen Omega Slave Information

Colonial North Carolina was first settled by immigrants from Virginia. The first settlements were made in the lands off of the tributaries of the Albermarle Sound.

In the Concessions of 1665, the lords proprietors of Carolina offered to give every master or mistress who should bring slaves into the Albermarle settlement fifty acres of land for each slave imported slave above fourteen years old.

The second wave of immigrants from Virginia settled in the counties of Edgecombe, Northampton, Halifax, Bute and Granville county. They brought large numbers of slaves with them.

During this time period Southeastern North Carolina remained unsettled.

Around 1730 Governor Burrington succeeded in convincing immigrants to settle in Southeastern North Carolina. The immigrants settled around Brunswich and Wilmington, and gradually extended westward to Bladen, Cumberland, and Anson Counties. This area attracted many rich and well-bred planters because it had a good harbor. The planters had considerable trade with Europe, the West Indies, and the other colonies, and it is likely that they received most of there slaves through that trade.

The above information was extracted from John Spencer Bassetts' book, Slavery and Servitude in the Colony of North Carolina.

North Carolina was never one of the chief slaveholding states. In 1860 North Carolina only had 331,059 slaves compared to Virginia's 490,865 and South Carolina's 402,406.

In 1850 only 28,303 families in North Carolina, or 27 percent were slaveholders. 67 percent of these families held less than ten slaves.

Although North Carolina had main routes of coastal and ocean commerce, it had few slaves enter through it's ports. As a result, North Carolina planters depended largely upon Virgina and South Carolina for slaves.

A slave who had been taught a trade, such as that of carpentry or bricklaying, sometimes did not have enough work on his master's plantation to keep him employed the year round. The master, therefore, hired the slave to his neighbors, but, even then, the craftsman might not find sufficient employment. The practice arose of permitting such a Negro to go about the country looking for work. He carried with him a written statement to that effect, constituting a sort of license to work at large. A slave often bargained with his master, agreeing to pay him a certain sum each year in return for the privilege of working wherever he chose, and he was said to have "hired his time." In 1794 it became unlawful for a master to permit a slave to hire his time "under any pretense whatever." In cases of violation, the master was to be fined $40 and the slave hired out at public vendue for a year.

Since children legally took the status of the mother, slave children were considered as belonging to the mother and were referred to as such in every-day conversation and on the plantation records. It was not uncommon for a Negro man to go through life known, for instance, as Suky's Toby or Mary's Tom. When a planter did list a Negro family under the name of the father, it was usually as Joseph Brevard of Camden, South Carolina, did in 1798: "Jumper & his family, viz., Amey and her children, Sam, Frank, Hester, Valentine, Molly."

In 1827 a complaint arose in Eastern North Carolina against a Negro preacher who was advocating abolition doctrines, and in 1830 abolition literature was discovered in the hands of free Negroes. In 1831 "a very intelligent Negro Preacher named David" was involved in the plot of insurrection among the Negroes of Sampson, Duplin, and New Hanover counties. 118 In that year the Legislature, after having considered a more drastic bill, passed a measure to prevent a slave or a free Negro from preaching or exhorting in public, "or in any manner to officiate as a preacher or teacher in any prayer meeting, or other association for worship, where slaves of different families are collected together" upon pain of receiving thirty-nine lashes on his bare back.

This information was extracted from Guion Griffis Johnson book, Ante-Bellum North Carolina

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